Receiving money from abroad can be tricky sometimes.
Particularly, if you are about to receive a large sum.
Not only the process itself can be new and intimidating…
There are associated fees that come with it, and it’s sometimes hard to understand the true costs.
Unaware, customers may be 2.5% in currency spreads on a transfer.
For a large transfer of £100,000 that’s 2.5k in fees.
The costs of a large transfer with banks
International bank transfer fees are very high… and will also apply when receiving money to your bank.
Our indicative research on banks around the world and their money transfer fees showed that you could be paying as much as 4 or 5 per cent on your transfer in foreign exchange fees.
In the U.S, Chase bank charges more than 3% on USD to Pound and Euro transfers.
In Australia, ANZ charges as much as 4% on those corridors.
In Europe, the margins are a bit tighter but still as much as 2.4% by Caixa Bank in Spain.
Intermediate bank fees may also apply and further trim down the amount received.
Bank service by banks: inadequate for large amounts
Then there’s the service aspect, which can be the most frustrating part of the experience if you’re with the wrong bank or provider.
Customers frequently feel left in the lurch, with no one answering their calls.
In Australia, the aforementioned ANZ bank has 1.3/5 stars rating on ProductReview.
In the USA, the aforementioned Chase bank gets the same score on TrustPilot.
Other banks get horrible reviews as well, almost unanimously worldwide, so these two banks don’t stand out – they are literally a random pick.
The good news are that there are more friendlier, best-servicing, cost-effective ways to receive a large sum of money from abroad.
Whether you are moving money between your shared accounts, receiving a business payment, a personal payment, inheritance…
You could be receiving those funds domestically, in local currency, with a person escorting you in the process –
And save up on a whole heap of the hassle as well as the costs associated with getting large sums to your bank account from abroad.
Here is how.
Best Rated for Large Amounts on Money Transfer Comparison
How To Receive Large Amounts from Abroad?
Step 1: Choose a Service Provider
You may think the process to receive large sums in a non-bank provider would be lengthy and complicated, but it is, in fact, surprisingly simple.
The actual dollar size of the transfer doesn’t matter, too. These companies, and specificallybforeign currency brokers, are accustomed to trades in the hundreds of thousands or more.
The research starts by understanding whether this service fits you.
The typical costumer of a money transfer service geared at high-volumes transfers would normally be
1. A person selling an asset abroad and moving funds back to his back account.
2. A person or a company repatriating funds from abroad. Most commonly, people who are moving back to the UK after living abroad.
3. Professional service providers who get paid from abroad.
4. A person employed by a foreigner company and receives some or all of his salary in FX.
It’s incredibly important to choose the right provider nowadays in particular.
The cost of moving abroad is at a record high due to the pandemic and its by product of inflation.
So did property around the world, as well as business costs.
What to look for
But if I was to fine-tune it to large transfers then it’s definitely those 5 playing a big role.
- Safety and Security
- Banking infrastructure (where do they have an account abroad)
- Additional functions geared at high-volume transfers
Safety and security is rather straightforward.
When it comes to regulation you can read our money transfer regulation by the FCA guide.
Essentially FCA authorised firms are subject to many checks and inspections.
Costs I’ve discussed before, showing you could pay a lot when receiving large amounts.
The most important fee is not the wire fee, but rather than exchange rate spreads.
The higher the spread, the higher % fees you will pay on your transfer.
You should be looking to pay a lot less than half of the 3% bank markup.
Banking infrastructure is crucial because you will want to have multiple bank accounts in multiple countries.
You want the payee (or your bank account abroad) will be able to transfer the money to a domestic bank account in domestic currency (which will be then sent over to you in Pound Sterling or whichever currency you’d like it to be).
For that you will need your provider to have many bank accounts.
Large providers are normally regulated to operate in more regions than botique brokerages.
For example, OFX is able to receive money from the UK, USA, Europe, Singapore, HK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand – so almost a full coverage.
Additional functions include guidance and rate alert to help you time your currency exchange better.
You could receive the funds in foreign currency and then leave it in the account and exchange in a more optimal timing.
Or time your payment / transfer in a way that would be optimal in terms of the rates.
These futures could be very helpful specifically for businesses and large sums.
Step 2: Create an Account With One or More Providers, Get a Quote
After you conduct your research, you could shortlist the money transfer services you liked most and sign up with multiple firms.
You may ask if this is not excessive but when it comes to large amounts of money, you could potentially negotiate the rate offered to your by the provider.
That means that signing up with several providers will allow you to let them compete each to give you the absolute top dollar price.
Signing up is normally very quick and for the most part, online, using top of the line technology to help verify your identity using simple things like a selfie with your ID and photocopies of bills.
It might be a longer process to sign up outside the UK (if you don’t have a British identity) but not necessarily so.
Step 3: Use a Provider to Receive Large Foreign Currency Payments
With the right provider, you won’t be confused with the terminology relating to the transfer itself which can be enough to throw anyone out of their comfort zone.
- Who needs to memorise terms like SWIFT, IBAN, Sort Code, Bank Identifier Number, Receiving Bank, and Intermediary bank fees?
- Who needs to check whether their online banking account supports receiving payments from abroad?
- Attempt to calculate when the money will arrive based on various time zones, or enquire for further information through endless and hectic exchanges with a non-communicative payment provider (i.e. bank)?
- Who can’t even give real time indications regarding a bank transfer when it’s delayed?
- Who wants to feel they may receive less attention than other customers i.e. large corporate clients who have direct access to the FX room?
Through a good company that gives you personalised guidance on the transfer, you will have a real human, with flesh and bones and all, addressing your queries.
How receiving money from abroad works?
As mentioned earlier, foreign exchange firms are just mediators between banks and consumers.
That means that in order to get paid from abroad, or receive funds from your own international bank account, the payment should at some point be moved to their ring-fenced client accounts, exchanged to local currency, and then sent to your account (where you receive it in the currency you desire).
By doing so, you should also be avoiding recipient fees.
This on top of your foreign exchange provider offering bank-beating exchange ratesץ
In practice, how it would work is that after you agree on the transfer with your provider, they will provide you with the bank details of that ring-fenced “joint” bank account.
You simply pass that on to the person sending the money, and you will get notified as soon as the money hit the account!
Here’s an example of how you can receive money from Spain to a UK bank account number with a specialist currency provider:
How long does it take to receive money from abroad?
That question is completely depends on the sending party rather than the receiving party.
It’s true that with some banks, money could be received on the main bank branch and then it will take up to 5 days until you are able to see it in your account… but for the most part, in most case, you will see the funds in your account as soon as they arrive.
How long will it take them to arrive? anywhere between instantly and 5 working days, depending on the corridor, and which provider you are using.
Wise offers an instant send/receive function for two customers who are registered with the company.
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